Best Time to Visit Acadia National Park

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A rocky cliff with trees and bushes hugging the coastline
Acadia National Park is one of the 10 most visited National Parks in the US

Located on Maine's scenic coastline, Acadia National Park covers over 47,000 acres of rocky beaches, granite peaks, glittering lakes, and lush green forests. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, from bears and moose in the highlands to whales and seals in the coastal waters. Over 300 species of birds can also be found in the park, including falcons, eagles, and owls.

With a whopping 4 million visitors a year, Acadia National Park is among the top 10 most visited National Parks in the United States. It's also one of the most famous landmarks in Maine. From scenic drives along the stunning coastline to hiking from sea to summit, there is an adventure at every turn in Acadia National Park.

Every season offers a different experience at Acadia National Park. Whether you're planning a trip for summer vacation or winter break--here's everything you need to know about the best time to visit Acadia National Park.

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  • 12 Acadia National Park best time to visit tips

Best Time to Go to Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park Vacation Planning Questions

A rocky body of water with mountains and trees around it
Things to consider when planning a visit to Acadia National Park
A body of water with trees that have orange, yellow, and green leaves
Fall is the best time to visit Acadia National Park for nice weather and fall views

When is the best time to visit Acadia National Park?

While it's worth visiting any time, September and October are considered by many to be the best time of year to visit Acadia National Park. Crowds are much lower than in the high-season summer months, and temperatures begin to drop, bringing forth a spectacular display of fall colors.

These early fall months have pleasant temperatures ranging from the 40s to 60s degrees Fahrenheit, perfect for hiking or biking in Acadia National Park. Visitors in the fall months can also enjoy plenty of scenic views throughout the park while they are enveloped in rich autumn colors.

A body of water and snow-flecked mountains in the background
Acadia National Park can be visited all year, offering unique experiences each season

When is the worst time to visit Acadia National Park?

While some months are more crowded than others or have less desirable weather, there's no wrong time to visit Acadia National Park. It's one of the most visited parks on the east coast because each season offers a unique experience and different things to do.

Crowding in the summer months of June, July, and August are the highest. Visitors can expect long lines for shuttles, crowded trails, and higher prices for accommodations. Although it has downsides, summer is one of the best times for hiking in Acadia National Park.

The winter months of December, January, and February can be challenging. Temperatures range from 10 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit, with occasional snowstorms and sub-zero temperature drops. Some roads and trails can also become inaccessible due to snow. Although cold, winter is one of the best times to snag a great deal at some of the best hotels near Acadia National Park.

Fall is the best time to visit Acadia National Park for hiking and biking
Acadia National Park is popular in the fall due to the beautiful fall foliage

When is the best season to visit Acadia National Park?

Fall is typically regarded as the best season to visit Acadia National Park for its pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and brilliant displays of fall color. Temperatures during the fall season (September, October, and November) range from the 30s to 60s degrees Fahrenheit. Fall is a good time for hiking, biking, and taking scenic drives to explore the park's miles of rocky coastlines.

Early fall is also a great time to snag the best campsites in Acadia National Park before they close for winter. Since summer crowds are gone, highly coveted sites like the Mount Desert Island Campground have become more available.

A body of water lined with multi-colored trees and mountains in the distance
In mid-October, the foliage in Acadia National Park is at its brightest

When is the best time to visit Acadia National Park for fall colors?

Fall colors begin in Acadia National Park in September, with brilliant hues of gold and yellow starting to appear in the higher elevations. By October, the entire park is blanketed in rich reds and oranges. Without doubt, fall is the best time to see Acadia National Park for the beauty of the fall colors.

Mid-October is when you will witness the foliage at its brightest. However, sudden temperature changes can contribute to the fall hues arriving earlier or later than expected, so check the weekly Maine foliage forecast.

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Large airport buildings with a tower with tarmac in the foreground
The best way to get to Acadia National Park depends on the area you are coming from

What is the best way to get to Acadia National Park?

Getting to Acadia National Park can be tricky unless you are driving from Maine or the surrounding areas. While two airports are within an hour of the park, both have significant service limitations.

The Hancock County–Bar Harbor Airport is about 45 minutes away, but there are no direct flights to this small county-run airport. Connections must be made through Boston-Logan International Airport. Depending on where you are flying from, arriving in Boston and transferring to Bar Harbor may be your best bet.

The second closest airport is Bangor International Airport, located about an hour from the park. While this airport does have more direct flight options than the county airport, it does not have direct flights from many major cities.

The best way to get to Acadia National Park will depend on your starting location and budget. Research flight and car rental options from all nearby airports to find the best transport option.

A sign on a wooden fence "Acadia National Park"
Hancock County–Bar Harbor Airport is the closest airport but has limited service

What is the closest airport to Acadia National Park?

The closest airport to Acadia National Park is Hancock County–Bar Harbor Airport. It is about a 45-minute drive to the park; however, this small airport has very limited service and is often only used by travelers connecting from Boston-Logan International Airport.

The second closest airport is Bangor International Airport, about an hour from the park. This airport has more direct flights but limited departures from major cities. Visitors planning on flying to Acadia National Park should research their options based on their departure city.

Weather, Prices, and Crowds in Acadia National Park

A rocky cliff with trees overlooking a body of water
Consider weather, prices and crowds when planning a vacation to Arcadia National Park

Acadia National Park in January

While it may be the coldest time of the year, January in Acadia National Park offers unique and breathtaking views of snow-covered coastlines. Temperatures can range from 10 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit and in some parts of the park, high winds can make outdoor activities challenging.

While some roads are closed due to icy conditions, January visitors can enjoy skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. January is considered the off-season, so crowds and pricing on accommodation are typically near their lowest. For those who love winter activities, January can be one of the best times to visit Acadia National Park.

Acadia National Park in February

February at Acadia National Park sees temperatures in the 10 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit range. Snowfall is still common, and winter activities are in full swing. Skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling are popular in February.

February is still the off-season, so visitors can find reasonable pricing on some of the best hotels near Acadia National Park. Some roads are inaccessible in February, so visitors will want to keep that in mind when picking their route through the park.

Acadia National Park in March

March at Acadia National Park has temperatures in the 20 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit range. Weather conditions can be unpredictable and vary from snow, fog, and rain.

There may still be plenty of snow blanketing the ground resulting in many roads remaining closed in early March. Snow activities are popular in early March but begin to taper towards the end of the month as the snow melts.

Prices and crowds begin to rise a little around spring break towards the end of March but remain lower than peak season numbers.

Acadia National Park in April

Acadia National Park in April starts to see warmer days, with temperatures ranging from 30 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The snow usually melts during this time, and roads start opening up, but they can still be icy and hazardous.

Spring break brings a slight bump in visitation numbers, but the park usually does not get too overcrowded. Pricing for accommodation can be hit or miss, and you can still find deals at the best places to stay near Acadia National Park.

Acadia National Park in May

May in Acadia National Park brings warmer weather and more wildlife activity. Temperatures range from the 40s to the 60s degrees Fahrenheit which can be pleasant for hiking and biking, and rain and fog are relatively common, especially in the mornings.

You can occasionally spot a moose in the marshy areas of the park, while the coastal areas are home to the harbor seal. During the spring, you may be lucky and spot harbor seals and their pups on beaches. Birds are also very active throughout the park. If seeing wildlife is on your list, May might be the best month to visit Acadia National Park.

Crowds and pricing remain moderate in May, with a slight uptick near Memorial Day weekend at the end of May. Holiday weekends typically bring more people to the park. May also ushers in the boating season, and various tours are available, from island hopping boat tours to sailing trips.

Acadia National Park in June

June has some of the best weather, and various activities are on offer. Temperatures range from the 50s to the 70s degrees Fahrenheit, which are comfortable for all outdoor activities. Hiking, biking, and boating are all popular activities in June at Acadia National Park. Visitors without a bike can rent one at one of the operators offering bike rentals in Acadia National Park, including their popular e-bike tours.

Early June is a great time to hike some of the best trails in Acadia National Park before summer crowds start to roll in. Summer crowds will take over the park by mid to late June–when schools go on break. Pricing for hotels around the park steadily increases in the summer months.

Acadia National Park in July

July is one of the warmest months in Acadia National Park, and temperatures range from the mid-50s to the mid-70s degrees Fahrenheit. For those who love the water, July is one of the best times to visit Acadia National Park, as swimming areas will be open. Kayaking and boating are also popular in July. The warm weather is also ideal for hiking, biking, and rock climbing.

Trails and campgrounds get very busy in July, especially near the Independence Day holiday (July 4th). Visitors can expect long lines for the park shuttles and experience congested overlook parking lots. July is a good time to take a private bus tour through the park and briefly escape the crowding. With the July crowds also comes a spike in pricing, and hotels around the park typically have high-season rates during the summer months.

Acadia National Park in August

August is another busy month for Acadia National Park, with visitation numbers and pricing for accommodation being at their peak. The end of the month does bring some reprieve as most US schools open up after summer break.

Temperatures for August in Acadia National Park vary from the mid-50s to the mid-70s degrees Fahrenheit. It's typically enjoyable for hiking, biking, boating, swimming, and rock climbing.

August is a great time for wildlife watching at Acadia National Park. Birds are very active; watch out for the otters and beavers that can be spotted in the lakes and streams. Whales are often seen off the coast on boat tours.

Acadia National Park in September

At the beginning of September, after Labor Day weekend, visitation rates drop significantly as summer vacationers return home. Pricing for accommodation also comes down. September is a great time to occupy a highly coveted campsite overlooking the seaside cliffs at Blackwoods Campground. Blackwoods is known to be the best campground in Acadia National Park, but it is often booked up throughout the summer.

September ushers in cooler temperatures, 40 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit and the start of the color-filled fall. Upper areas of the park begin their fall transformation with striking shades of gold and yellow in early September. This month's weather and beautiful scenery are a great time to tackle some of the best hikes in Acadia National Park, like Cadillac Mountain.

Acadia National Park in October

October is undoubtedly the best month to visit Acadia National Park to see the fantastic fall foliage. The lowering temperatures of 30 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit contribute to the onset of the changing leaves. With all the colorful fall landscapes, October is perfect for self-guided scenic tours through the park.

October is also suitable for birdwatching and catching the hawks congregating on Cadillac Mountain. Hiking and biking are also popular in Acadia National Park in October. Crowds can range from moderate to low, and pricing for accommodation around the park is much lower than in the high-season summer months.

Acadia National Park in November

November in Acadia National Park brings a significant drop in temperatures--20s to 40s degrees Fahrenheit, and snowfall can become increasingly common. Some road closures are to be expected, and as these roads close, many of them become snowmobile routes.

Crowds are near their lowest in November, with a slight uptick near the Thanksgiving holiday towards the end of the month. Prices for accommodation around the park remain low to moderate.

While conditions can be harsh and some trails may close, hiking remains a popular activity. Hikers must check the weather and bring extra gear. Boat tours are closed for the season by November.

Acadia National Park in December

December is one of the coldest months in Acadia National Park. Temperatures can range from the 10s to 30s degrees Fahrenheit, with occasional dips below 0. It's typically cold, windy, and snowy, making outdoor activities challenging. Many roads are closed due to icy conditions but may be accessible for snowmobiles. Skiing and snowshoeing are popular. Boat tours remain closed for the winter.

While there may be a slight increase in crowds around Christmas, December is still considered the off-season. Crowds and pricing on accommodations are typically near their lowest. Those looking for deals on the best hotels in Acadia National Park may find them in Bar Harbor, just east of the park entrance.

In Summary

Deciding when to visit Acadia National Park can be tricky because there is so much to see and do. Rest assured, whichever season you will have stunning views and be full of epic adventures. From long summer days by the lake to cozy fall nights by the campfire, Acadia National Park is a must-visit!

This article was edited by Henry Grahame.

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Written by Lauren Rey

L_Rey WRITER Lauren might be based in Florida, but she is always plotting out a new road trip route with her partner-in-crime, Pickles. Pickles is a mixed-breed rescue dog that loves hiking, road trips, and Starbucks as much as she does!


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